William Strickland


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A pupil of Latrobe, he was among the most accomplished of USA-born architects. He is remembered primarily for his designs in the Greek Revival style, although two of his earliest buildings, the Masonic Hall (1808–11—demolished) and Temple of the New Jerusalem (1816–17—demolished), both in Philadelphia, PA, were a rather uncertain Gothick. He made his reputation with the handsome Second Bank of the United States (1818–24—with a portico modelled on the Athenian Parthenon), and followed this with the US Naval Asylum (1826–33—with an octastyle Ionic portico), the US Mint (1829–33—demolished), and the very beautiful Merchants' Exchange (1832–4—with the Greek Corinthian Order from the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens wrapped round a drum crowned by a replica of the Monument), all in Philadelphia, PA. Indeed, it is clear that Strickland used Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens (1762–1830) as his main source-book, but with considerable verve and imagination. He again incorporated the Lysicrates Monument as a crowning feature of his otherwise Ionic State Capitol, Nashville, TN (1845–59).

A gifted Neo-Greek designer, Strickland also used the Egyptian Revival style for the Mikveh-Israel Synagogue, Philadelphia (1822–5—demolished), and the First Presbyterian Church, Nashville (1848–51—with a stunning polychrome interior based on the Napoleonic and other publications showing Ancient Egyptian architecture). It seems that the Nashville church's style was supposed to suggest the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. He designed St Mary's RC Cathedral, Nashville (1845–7), and may have been responsible for several Italianate houses in the same city.

Carrott (1978);Gilchrist (1969);Hamlin (1964);Hitchcock (1977);K. Kennedy (1989);Placzek (ed.) (1982);P&J (1970–86);Stanton (1968);Jane Turner (1996)

Subjects: Architecture — Art.

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